Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For

Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg & Andrew Hershberger, Telos Publishing, 2006

Movie guides, of any sort, can be a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from serious critical tomes that document every last production detail to casual companions filled with trivia and irreverent personal opinions of the editors; in other words, there’s something out there for everyone.

Zombiemania belongs somewhere towards the latter; by no means a complete encyclopaedia of zombie films, it concentrates rather upon certain ‘key’ movies, as defined by the editors on the grounds of the importance of those films to the genre as a whole, cinematic merit, and even simply personal taste. This is not to say that the editors haven’t taken their work seriously: each entry in the guide is supplied with a brief but detailed plot synopsis, full production credits, behind-the-scenes information, and a full critical analysis, as well as information on alternate cuts of the movie that may be available, and specifications of current DVD releases, among other things.

On the lighter side, information may also be found under the headings of ‘6 Degrees of Necrophagia’ (the nature of the zombies in a given movie, and how they have influenced or been influenced by other zombie movies), ‘Now Wait a Minute!’ (bloopers, gaffes and plot holes), ‘Hey Look, it’s the Guy from the One with the Thing’ (other media credits of the various cast and crew), and ‘Tor, is That You?’ (appearances of bald zombies bearing a resemblance to Tor Johnson, of Plan 9 From Outer Space fame).

All in all, this is a solid, quite entertaining guide, although serious zombie movie enthusiasts shouldn’t consider it a Bible by any means; nonetheless, a worthy volume to add to the existing zombie movie guide collection.

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